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Goodbye incandescent light bulbs!

With the new year comes some changes in energy legislation. First, some great news: 2012 starts the official phase-out of incandescent lightbulbs. The Energy Independence Act of 2007 created various efficiency standards, including the declaration for lightbulbs to be at least 25% more efficient in 5 years or they couldn’t be manufactured in the United States. Specifically, starting Jan. 1, 2012, traditional 100-watt incandescents would have to be more efficient or stop being manufactured. The same is stated for 75-watt bulbs by Jan. 1, 2013, and 60 and 40-watt bulbs by 2014. Manufacturers have since invested millions of dollars in more efficient lighting, including halogen, compact flourescent and light-emitting diodes (or LEDs), and will no longer produce traditional incandescent bulbs (Read our blog comparing CFLs and LEDs). You can still purchase incandescents though, and unfortunately reports say consumers will probably do so until they are forced to switch. However, it looks like we are on our way to being a more energy-efficient country!
There is some bad energy legislation news though: the federal tax credit for builders to build energy efficient homes and for homeowners to install energy efficient products expired on December 31, 2011. The energy industry is urging Congress to extend these residential tax credits, and you can help by speaking to your local representative! Extending these credits could give you money back on energy efficient upgrades like windows or Energy Star appliances for your home! You can CLICK HERE to see RESNET’s efforts to reinstate the credit, exactly what’s involved, and their guidance on how you can help.

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